Honey, Milk and Blood
(Art is Hard Records)
As Shunkan, 20-year-old singer, multi-instrumentalist and DIY record producer Marina Sakimoto creates bedsit indie-pop songs, which while drenched in an emotional register of solitude, are as expansive as great crashing ocean waves. Based in Invercargill but originally from Los Angeles, Shunkan has just released her first proper EP, Honey, Milk and Blood, via boutique UK imprint Art is Hard Records. Five songs long, the guitar/voice-heavy compositions fold together the fuzz of My Bloody Valentine, the grandeur of Sigur Rós and the experimental innocence of the K Records modern folk scene. The outcome is stunning: essential indie listening.
(AmmoNation/Young, Gifted & Broke)
Over the last two years, Hamilton-based Rwandan hip hop artist Raiza Biza has dropped what, with the release of The Imperfectionist, counts as four albums. Sonically his most accomplished, this latest offering sees him wrapping his head around the transformation of his teenage passion into a sustainable career, while reflecting on leaner, hungrier days past. Running his smooth, rhythmic delivery against soul‑, jazz- and synth-funk-informed instrumentals, he gives us an honest window into not just the nights out performing, but also the realities of the mornings after. Jam-packed full of creative guest appearances, The Imperfectionist is a compelling and intelligent listen.
(Wonderful Noise Records)
With the release of their debut album, Chequered Thoughts, Auckland digital soul quintet Sorceress (formerly known as Funkommunity) proved their mettle on the international stage. Two years and several local and international tours later, they return rebranded as Sorceress, with a new album in hand. Singer Rachel Fraser’s scorching 1990s R&B/trip hop-informed voice is captivating as always, and band leader Isaac Aesili’s instrumental arrangements remain reliably retro-futuristic and celestial (in an electronic psychedelic sense). Lead single ‘Teacups’ is drenched in strutting neo-soul cool. Elsewhere on Dose, tempos rise and fall, traversing a dizzying array of styles in the process.[info]
Film Festival Music Recommendations
The Punk Singer (Sini Anderson)
American director Sini Anderson takes us on a journey through the life and times of musician, activist and writer Kathleen Hanna, the central architect of the Riot grrl movement and front woman of Bikini Kill and Le Tigre. Heart-warming and heartbreaking, it’s a powerful portrait of one of the most important feminist artists of the 1990s and early 2000s.
20,000 Days on Earth (Iain Forsyth & Jane Pollard)
Referencing the number of days he has been alive, 20,000 Days on Earth is an experimental look at some life-changing events in the journey of Nick Cave, one of the truly seminal Australian songwriters. Watch him discuss his past with the camera, and drive friends around Brighton, the city he has called his home since the 1980s.
Nga Reo o te Whenua (Voices of the Land) (Paul Wolffram)
For the last 40 years, Dr Richard Nunns has dedicated his life to researching and performing with taonga pūoro (traditional Māori instruments). In this new documentary, Paul Wolffram takes a close look at Nunns, his ongoing battle with Parkinson’s disease, and his fight to secure the future of this ancient tradition.
All Is by My Side (John Ridley)
After writing the script for 12 Years a Slave, John Ridley steps into the directorial chair with All Is by My Side. Starring rapper André 3000 of OutKast as Jimi Hendrix, the film depicts the story of Jimi’s early days, painting a picture of the guitar god in the days just before his mythmaking really began.[/info]